09 Aug Superweek — Brewers Hills 2011
Monday and two weeks behind on the race reports, great. Superweek wrap up this week, then on to Elk Grove fun. Brewer’s Hill was my last Superweek race of the 2011 season since Heidi forced me to pack the car with Enzo’s product, drive to Council Bluffs and work the Ragbrai Expo.
I was going to bring the highest level of focus to Brewer’s Hill wanting to make up for my mental weakness at Humblodt Park. I was not sure how the legs would feel after the 102 temps on the day prior, maybe a little dehydration, since at 53 recovery is always up in the air. Gene Tolli was my only team mate racing today and I was very happy to have him there.
The course was different than last year’s Superweek track and quite different from the ToAD course. The finish line was 80 meters from the top of the hill, which is a bonus for me. The temps were in the low 90’s at the start of the race, a freaking cold spell after yesterday’s Paris Dakar conditions. The whistle sounds followed by Druber (ScarletFire Racing) drilling the first lap quite hard, then Gene doing the same. This had the group in early difficulty, laughter. You would think the pace would soften, But no, (LAPT’s) big.
John Voigt kept the pace fast. Finally a break forms with Druber, Gene, Brian Batke (Carbon Racing) and I think John Voigt, two weeks later and the old memory is not working so well. So these guys establish a nice gap, about 15 seconds, the danger being they are working well together, slowly increasing the distance every lap. This is a key for you younger racers, pay attention if the break looks smooth and everyone is taking a share of the workload.
Now at 20 seconds, I plan on making a move to bridge, yes I have a man in the break, but my plan is to go solo. If anyone grabs my wheel I will shut it down quickly, so I attack as hard as I can, like it is the finishing sprint. 1 lap later I am connected to the break at the top of the hill announcing I came across alone. I go directly to the front and keep the pace fast, showing the boys I am here to contribute.
We lap, what is left of the field when things start to get messy. The field is not letting us go for a second break and the chase group eventually catches the field. We now have about 12 guys 1 lap up and my team mate Gene is still looking strong. We have about 10 laps remaining, I decide to follow wheels until a field sprint or another dangerous break forms. As we enter turn 4 about to see two laps to go I hear a clincher tire blow which creates an increase of speed up the hill. Little do I know it is Gene’s tire that blew, I move into 5th position going into turn 1. Holding my position the bell sounds, the pace increases and I move into 3rd wheel as we jockey for position heading for the final corner. I sprint 50 meters from this turn so I will be first up the hill. Perfect, now it is into the 13 up the hill full gas, at the top I peek between my legs and see nothing, now taking a good look at the gap, sweet 10 bike lengths staying on the gas finishing the 2011 Superweek season on a high note.
Gene was forced to pit, change his flat, and chase. This was key since he was up 1 lap and able to finish in 10th, which was nice.
Next up Gene writes a few race reports from the last weekend of Superweek, then a racers perspective of Ragbrai.